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Admit to Observation: Policy Run Amuck?

My latest blog post on JAMA’s News Forum is about the unintended consequences of policy. Specifically, it deals with Medicare policy on admitting patients to hospitals as outpatients for observation. It clearly needs to be fixed.

JAMA doesn’t permit people to post comments on their blog so I welcome your comments on this site.

Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor of Nursing

Healthstyles: words. power. control.

Barbara Glickstein hosts this week’s Healthstyles on Thursday, September 11th at 1PM on WBAI Pacifica Radio 99.5FM streamed live on the web at

At the top of the hour hear HealthCetera News Updates. Listen here Hcet9112014

Journalists struggle with reporting on sex and labor trafficking and how to better frame the stories.  The language in the anti-trafficking world, specifically, use of the word “rescue” is examined when Glickstein interviews Becky Owens-Bullard, Project Director of the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance (DATA). Owens-Bullard says It’s time we take off the “rescuer’s” cape and elevate our language around anti-trafficking work to the trauma-informed, victim-centered place that it should be.” Read  “Take off the cape: Why using the word rescue is harmful to anti-trafficking efforts” in the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault and listen to the full interview RESCUE

Healthstyles new regular feature appears regularly with co-founders Yanick Rice Lamb, and Sheree Crute of a new media platform launched last November for Black Women. Ms. Crute chairs CHMP’s National Advisory Committee (NAC) and Ms. Rice Lamb is a member of the NAC.  Today, Yanick Rice Lamb joins me to talk about the goings-on on Fierce for Black Women. FIERCE

Follow them on Twitter @Fierceforbw @shereecrute @yrlamb

Voices and stories we need to hear.

Screen shot 2014-09-04 at 5.44.33 AM

“I want nurses to start talking” states Glickstein’s guest  Amanda Anderson, a nurse, writer and one of the forces behind Hunter College’s The Nurses Writing Project @nurseswriting.

Co-host Barbara Glickstein interviews Anderson on Healthstyles Thursday, September 4 at 1 PM on WBAI 99.5FM radio &

Anderson curated and directs “The Bedpan Confessionals: Tall Tales of Truth By Nurses, For Everyone” Saturday, Sept. 13th on the Lower East Side at Berkli Parc Cafe @berkliparc, 63 Delancey St., 8:15 – 9:00pm @litcrawlnyc

This event is free and open to the public.

“The Bedpan Chronicles” introduces you to these five nurse writers:
Amy Berman, RN, BS, senior program officer at the Hartford Foundation, has shared her story of being a nurse, a health care consumer, and an active cancer patient around the globe. She is a well-known advocate for palliative care, and publicly shares her mission – to ensure that patients get to choose the care they want – via Health AGEnda, Health Affairs, The Washington Post, and National Public Radio. @notesonnursing

LeeLee Milner, RN, PMHNP, a recent graduate of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, practices as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in the homes of her patients all over New York City. She gives insight into the intimate details of her home-based patients, and the bravery required to do what she does via her blog, qNurse, where she also writes to her goal of helping nurses maintain mental health through self care. She also teaches young nurses the tools of the trade at NYU, and can’t go very long without mentioning her many dogs and their love for Prospect Park.

Roma Arellano, RN, BSN, CCRN, is an experienced intensive care nurse and advocate for night shift nurses. She currently works at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she is developing a project for the mentorship and increased safety of new nurses entering night shift work. Her stories often focus on her struggle to process motherhood and death – a daily challenge in her nursing work, and through Lit Crawl, she’ll bring her brave voice to the public’s ears for the very first time.

Ellen Cohen, RN, CNM, author of the recently published book, Laboring: Stories of a New York City Hospital Midwife, estimates that she’s delivered approximately 1,400 babies in her tenure as a nurse and midwife. She is currently mid-book tour, and brings a sage voice of experience and passion to our group of authors. Her goal as a nurse-writer is to promote holistic midwifery and a better public understanding of the practice through her stories of courage and defiance of traditional roles that pave the way for women, health care and patient advocacy.

Amanda Anderson, RN, BSN, CCRN, will host the venue, espousing nurse-y wisdom and wit throughout the night. She currently leads the collaborative editing program within Hunter College’s The Nurses Writing Project, which she co-directs. Her blog, This Nurse Wonders, focuses on her career goal of getting nurses to start talking about what they do in ways that the public can understand. She blogs for The American Journal of Nursing, Scrubs Magazine, and Center for Health Media & Policy’s HealthCetera, to that aim. She works at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, and is studying far too hard for far too many degrees at Hunter & Baruch Colleges. She bikes.

You can find Amanda Anderson on Twitter @12hourRN, and on her personal blog:

Everyone has a story. Deborah Jiang Stein‘s adoptive parents didn’t want her to know that she was born in prison to a heroin-addicted mother.

Deborah Jiang Stein, author of the memoir, Prison Baby published by Beacon Press, advocate for incarcerated women and the founder of the unPrison Project is interviewed by co-host Barbara Glickstein. Themes of disconnection, secrets, transracial adoption, incarceration of women and babies born in prison are discussed.

Find out more about the unPrison Project and consider supporting the Behind Books Not Bars Prison Baby book club for incarcerated women and girls.

Listen to the interview (this is a rebroadcast)


Healthstyles Today: Ebola and Breastfeeding

wbaiThe World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that 20,000 people will be infected with the Ebola virus before the current crisis in West Africa is contained. Earlier in the week, it reported that 120 health care workers have died from the disease, leaving unafflicted doctors, nurses, and other health care workers with fewer human resources to care for those who become ill from Ebola. In some cases, remaining health care workers have refused to work and whole hospitals have closed because of insufficient staff. The WHO has issued a roadmap to contain the spread of the virus but some believe that the international response to the spread of Ebola has been woefully insufficient.

Today on Healthstyles, producer and host Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, interviews Kate Mort, Director of Human Resources for Medecin Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, about the challenges this NGO faces in West Africa, particularly Monrovia, Liberia, as well as the response of the international community and need for volunteers to help to contain the spread of this deadly disease in which only 47% of those infected with the virus are surviving.

The program opens with HealthCetera, an update on health news, and ends with an interview with Nancy Manister, PhD, RN, FNP, Assistant Professor of nursing at Fairfield University in Connecticut about breastfeeding as part of a national conversation this month to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding to mother, baby, family, and society. You can listen to the interview here:

So tune in at 1:00 today on WBAI, 99.5 FM ( in New York City.

Healthstyles is sponsored by the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York.

The Power of Words, and of Silence

Black-capped chickadee.  Matt MacGillivray, flickr

Black-capped chickadee.
Matt MacGillivray, flickr

Joy Jacobson is a CHMP senior fellow. Follow her on Twitter: @joyjaco

For the past couple of years I’ve attended The Power of Words, the annual conference of the Transformative Language Arts Network. I’ve become more of a conference-goer in recent years, as well as a presenter, but this one seemed unlike any of the others I’ve attended. Novelists and poets, musicians and composers, expressive-arts therapists and health care workers, those new to writing and those who’ve devoted their lifetimes to the craft all gathered for a few days of “workshops, performances, talking circles, celebration and more.” 

I left last year’s gathering, held at the beautiful grounds at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat outside Philadelphia, with the phrase radical acceptance going through my mind. I won’t be able to attend this year’s conference, to be held at Lake Doniphan Retreat Center in Kansas City, MO. I’ll miss those people and the community that gets made when like minds and intentions come together.

It’s an aptly named conference. Last year I led a poetry workshop on “self-elegy,” and it was indeed powerful to see what a group of readers and writers could compose in 90 minutes. (Two brilliant attendees, Seema Reza and Maiga Milbourne, each blogged about it, here and here.) But that phrase, power of words, has got me thinking, too, about the powers of silence.

For the first time in the many years that I’ve owned a cell phone (or has it owned me?) I have turned off the text-message-notification noise. For 10 days now there has been no beep, no trill, no hum or vibration, no ring-a-ding-ding when a message arrives. It started one insomniac night as an attempt to block out any potential disruption to sleep, should I have been lucky enough to fall back into it. In the morning I thought it might be nice to take a vacation from the fake bell—not from text messaging itself, just from the relentlessly Pavlovian audio.

As I write I’m sitting outside. There’s a distant thrum whose source I can’t quite identify, probably a train. A couple of chickadees perform their unrepeatable tweets. The 10 AM church bell chimes, and my little dog decides to yap in response to something beyond my hearing. Clank: a truck hits a bump. A neighbor’s air conditioner rolls over and over. The cicadas start, then drop, then start again their annual threnody to summer.

In attending to these entirely ordinary sounds I realize something about awareness. Perhaps what I found so remarkable about the Power of Words conference didn’t have entirely to do with the words themselves, whether written, read aloud, spoken, sung, or chanted (and they were remarkable). It had to do, as well, with the attention we all paid to one another: undistracted, unrushed, clear-eyed and -eared—radical—attention.

I just checked my phone. In the time it took me to write the previous paragraph a friend texted. Perhaps we could have a bike ride or a walk later today? I’ll get back to him in a minute or two.


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